BREAKING: Congressman Norm Dicks of Washington state announced on Friday plans to retire at the end of the year after completing 18 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he stood as champion for wildlife and conservation.
The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:
“The retirement of Congressman Norm Dicks is a major loss for our nation’s environment and natural resources. From the day he entered Congress in 1977, Mr. Dicks has been a true champion and force for conservation, willing to step forward to defend vital laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
“Mr. Dicks has led the way; from acquiring critical wildlife habitat across the nation to achieving the historic reintroduction of wolves to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and helping address the impacts of climate change on people and our natural resources. As chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, he provided vital funding assistance to federal environmental agencies and programs, and championed innovative new approaches to deal with mounting environmental problems. One of his signature efforts was the creation of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Programs that provides assistance to states in protecting wildlife before it becomes endangered. Most recently, he led an effort that defeated one of the most egregious attacks on the Endangered Species Act in years.
“Mr. Dicks is retiring, but he has left us with a tremendous gift, his conservation legacy, which we will enjoy for generations to come. There are many challenges ahead of us in the years to come as we continue to address the needs of imperiled wildlife and the impacts of a changing climate. I hope we will see other members of Congress step up to fill the huge void that will be left by the Honorable Norm Dicks.”
Defenders of Wildlife recognized Congressman Dicks with the Spirit of Defenders Award for Public Service, our highest award. Just last month, he was recognized by 13 major environmental groups for his work in upholding the Endangered Species Act.